The Designed by Kate Tailor (The Designed Series #1) Publication date: January 26th 2015 Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
What if the next new drug was you? Raleigh’s body produces a drug that could define the future of medicine if the dangerous world surrounding it doesn’t kill her first.
Eighteen-year old Raleigh Groves can sense disease in others and is suffering from her own unexplained illness as well. After years and dozens of doctor visits, she has given up hope of ever finding a cure, let alone a diagnosis. Then she meets a man who explains that her talent and curse are linked. Her body produces a drug, Lucidin, which allows her to sense others. She’s rare, and the drug she makes is coveted.
Rho has spent the last few years on the run. The Lucidin that is racing through his system makes him a target. Surrounded by addicts and dealers on one side and scientists and doctors on the other, he has to rely on his wits and his team to stay one step ahead. So far he has stayed afloat, but some of his brothers haven’t been as lucky.
As Rho and Raleigh collide they must face the perilous world of Lucidin together. Nothing is black-and-white and Raleigh must decide where her alliances lie. Sometimes the hardest heart to sense is your own.
I have to say that this is one of the best books I have read in awhile. I was hooked right from the start. We start with Rho, and him trying to escape, we do not know why or anything, but we just feel we need to root for him. There is not alot with Rho, but enough to really like him.
Raliegh is the main focus of this book, and I really liked her too. I loved her strength, and how she didn’t take crap from anyone. I loved how her “problem” ended up making her very strong.
This book is a sci-fi with a touch of the paranormal, which I love.
I do not want to say too much, but want to say its written extremely well, and an awesome read. I didn’t want it to end.
I give this 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend.
I was given a copy of this book for my honest review.
Rho opened his eyes and tried to focus on the whitewashed brick wall to his right. His sense of time had become muddled, and he suspected that he’d lost some days altogether. Initially, he’d held on to a vague hope that he’d be able to mark time by the moon—which he occasionally glimpsed through the paper-thin curtains—but he soon understood that even that small endeavor was impossible. He was rarely conscious long enough to establish the time of day, and a bright morning could give way to the darkness of midnight in the blink of an eye. The sun slipped through the window during the day, but in the pitch black of night the only light emanated from the vitals monitor and the dials on his IV. As his eyes followed the small tube that ran down from the IV bag to the needle that pierced his right arm, he noticed that the white wall was splashed with vivid magenta and tangerine hues. At least he could be certain that it was morning.
All his life, Rho had prided himself on his powers of recollection. Now, any observations he’d made were difficult to remember. He tried to go over what he knew. Every time he awoke he was lying in this small room, and the soreness of disuse was creeping into his muscles and joints. As far as he could tell, he hadn’t been moved from the bed. His mouth was dry, and he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink. He’d been here for what he considered a long time—far too long to stay alive without eating or drinking—and he realized that the IV bag must contain nutrients and a very strong sedative. Two-man teams sometimes unintentionally roused him when they were checking his vitals and replacing the IV bag. And based on the colors on the walls and the slant of the light, it seemed that they only appeared at sunrise and sunset.
Rho looked over at his left arm. His port was connected to tubes running to and from an extraction machine. The machine whizzed periodically, sounding as harmless as a hair dryer, but Rho knew better. He’d heard about others being drained to death. It wouldn’t be the strong sedative or foggy reality that would end him. The greedy extraction machine that siphoned the Lucid from his blood was the real threat.
Lucid was the street name for the complex hormone scientifically known as Lucidin. It had quickly come to define Rho’s life, and it was why he’d been captured in the first place. Lucid makes controlling autonomic functions—such as heart rate and blood pressure—as easy as controlling breathing. But that was just one of the properties that made it so coveted. Lucid was a weapon as much as anything else, and Rho knew it could be his salvation…as long as they didn’t take every last drop of it from him.
Yesterday, they’d extracted too fast and Rho’s body had given up its fight to live. Death claimed him, but only for a minute. His captors brought him back to life with an electric jolt from a defibrillator. Rho’s death was unpleasant but quiet, and he thought that if his jailors had any respect for him at all they would’ve let him die. He’d heard one of the men—presumably a doctor—conclude in a gravelly voice that if they were going to preserve him for a while longer they’d have to drain him more slowly and reduce his dose of sedative. Like an elephant hunted for its tusks, he was going to die because of his captors’ insatiable need for Lucid.
The decision to slow extraction and reduce the sedative afforded Rho extended moments of alertness—and a small reserve of Lucidin. He turned his head to the vitals monitor. A little heart in the corner was blinking in rhythm with his heartbeat while a line graph displayed the peaks and dips. Two numbers divided by a line showed his blood pressure. Utilizing the Lucid that the extraction machine had yet to rob him of, Rho lowered his heartbeat and blood pressure. His goal was to keep his vitals hovering just above unconsciousness until the morning team had come and gone. This gave him something to focus on besides the past, the dismal-looking future, and his growing concern that his brothers would suffer the same wretched fate.
A two-man team arrived just as the sunrise was giving way to a sunny, cloudless day. The doctor looked at the readout of Rho’s vitals, and the other man walked over to the extraction machine.
“Damn! He’s doing worse,” announced the doctor in his gravelly voice. “We’ll have to slow the extraction and reduce his sedative a bit more.”
“What? Are you serious?” screeched the assistant. Lowering his voice, he said, “We already did that yesterday.”
“Yes, we did. But if we don’t do it again we could lose him…too soon.”
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. No, I don’t,” said the assistant as he removed the vials of Lucidin from the extraction machine and delicately placed them in a case.
“He can’t harm us when he’s in this state,” the doctor assured him. “Anyway, the longer we keep him alive, the richer we’ll be. You like that don’t you?”
“Fine, if you insist. I’ll do it,” agreed the assistant.
Rho felt a pang of joy—his plan was working. He had to concentrate to keep his heart from kicking up a notch. After replacing the IV bag and adjusting the extraction machine, the men left.
Rho took a long breath and sighed with relief. Unlike most prisons, his had no bars or locked gates. The drugs and fatigue were enough to trap him in his own body—but not for much longer. He would make his escape today. His captors were unlikely to lower the extraction and sedative dose any more than they just had, so he had to make his move. He would do it tonight, when the second team came to check on him.
Today was the first day in a long time that he was aware of each and every moment. He darted his eyes across the room. A small seagull was preening itself on the windowsill. One of the guards had once asked why there weren’t bars on the window. The answer was that the drop would likely kill Rho, and even if he survived the current would pull him under. Occasionally he’d heard people speaking in French, and he figured that he must be somewhere along the French coast.
Knowing that he could die while making his escape, he savored the hours. Part of him wanted to reflect on his life, but he pushed those thoughts out of his mind as soon as they arose. Those thoughts too closely resembled grieving, and he wasn’t about to grieve the life that he was fighting to save….
The sunset was particularly beautiful. Mauve and azure hues playfully painted his room, as though Mother Nature wasn’t aware of the suffering he endured. Maybe she was aware of his suffering—and glad to see it. After all, he was an affront to her.
Rho heard voices as the evening pair opened the door to his room. Of all the teams, Rho was most familiar with this one. These two talked the most, and the young man had once taken a phone call in the room, but he was swiftly reprimanded by the old man. The young, unsure little attendant asked a lot of questions, and although the old man seemed to be aggravated by his companion’s inquires, he always answered.
“The morning crew said he was doing poorly,” the old man said in a sure, deep voice.
“They turned down the machine again. He’s not giving us as much Lucid,” noted the young man as he retrieved the vials.
“From the look of his vitals, he’ll only last a few more days.”
“He’s going to die, isn’t he?” asked the young man. Despite his current job, he wasn’t the heartless kind.
“The world will be better off. He’s dangerous. They’re monsters…all of them. Don’t let his angelic looks fool you. He’s the devil.”
Rho wasn’t sure if the last part was true, but the part about him being dangerous certainly was.
The young man put away the vials of Lucidin. He was clearly troubled by Rho’s situation, and he didn’t respond to the comment. As he leaned over to change Rho’s catheter bag, Rho jerked, causing urine to spill out.
“Oops!” exclaimed the young man.
“You need to be less clumsy,” the old man scolded.
“It’s all over the place. I’ll have to clean him up.”
“Yes, you will!” barked the old man as he walked around the bed and unfastened the leather restraints that bound Rho’s arms and legs. “Get fresh sheets and clothes out of the hall closet…and a sponge and soap,” he yelled as the young man hurried out of the room.
The old man disconnected Rho from the vitals monitor and extraction machine and began to undress him. This was the opportunity Rho’d been waiting for. He didn’t need a machine to sense the old man’s heart. It had a stent and it wasn’t strong—not that it mattered. Rho willed it to stop. The old man grasped at his chest, giving Rho a haunted look. A moment later, he fell dead to the floor.
The young man dropped everything as he stepped inside the room. Without giving Rho much thought, he mumbled a curse under his breath and rushed over to position the old man for CPR. Rho knew that the young man was strong and stressed. His lungs were taking in deep breaths…until Rho stopped them from contracting. The effect was akin to drowning on dry land—like a fish left to flounder in the sun—and he was soon slumped over the old man. It was unpleasant for him, but unlike the old man, he would live.
Rho struggled to sit up. His muscles had atrophied from lack of use. Crawling out of the bed was painful, but he managed to get the phone from the young man’s pocket. He sent a text message and then quickly deleted it before return the phone to its pocket. Rho whispered a prayer, even though he wasn’t sure if people like him deserved a God. Then he pulled himself over to the window, opened it, and jumped.
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